Category: Emergencies

Never go on holiday!


We’ve all been there.  A lovely, hard earned break away from it all. You bounce into the office, healthy tan, all glowing, only to realise that it’s going to take you a month to catch up again.  A day later the tan has gone!  Well, it’s been like that for me too.  Straight back from hols into an Indonesia earthquake, several different tropical storms gathering in intensity, severe flooding in West Africa and exacerbated drought situations in Syria, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya.

This might sound weird, but it ‘s been a quiet year as mega disasters go.  It’s the odd thing about my More

Monday Movement update #20


Here’s your weekly update on what different members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement* are doing.

A young girl takes refuge in school courtyardYemen: More than three weeks of intense armed confrontations in northern Yemen have left the civilian population in parts of Sa’ada, Amran and Jawf in dire need of food, shelter and medical care. Access to the affected people remains difficult because of ongoing fighting. More

Fire and emergency support: Any time. Day or night.


clivejanice190Imagine it’s 3am and you’ve just lost everything you own in a house fire. Everyone is safe but the children are cold and you have nowhere to go. Listen to a couple of the incredible volunteers who turn up to help their neighbours cope with crises at any time, day or night.

Fire and emergency support in Belfast



War declared!


Seventy years ago yesterday, following Germany’s invasion of Poland, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany. 

Black and white photo of two women working on the engine of an ambulance

Soon after, the British Red Cross and the Order of St John joined together as the Joint War Organisation. Our two organisations had worked together to help war victims during the First World War, too.

In both wars, thousands of women and men signed up to be volunteers (or, as they were officially known, ‘voluntary aid detachments’ or VADs). One of the iconic images of the Red Cross historically is of women in white nurses uniforms with a big red cross on the bib; but not all our volunteers were nurses.


Can you report good news in Africa?


So be honest, when you think of Africa what springs to mind?

African child in orange cloak

If it’s something other than safari or famine then I’m pretty sure you’re not the average Brit.

If you’re a journalist and think Africa has more to tell than famine and disaster, conflict and corruption, then it’s good news for you with the Red Cross’ Good News for Africa competition.

How to deal with tea-mergencies


FESS volunteers worcester-190I knew I was right. New scientific research claims that a cup of tea really can help reduce stress levels during times of crisis. As a life-long fan of the mighty tea leaf, I’m not in the least surprised.

As explained in an earlier blog, my only really meaningful encounter with alcohol occurred when I drank whisky as a newborn baby so drinking tea really is a big deal in the Cox social calendar (such as it is).

Logistics of disaster relief – part one


When disaster strikes, anywhere in the world, it’s likely you’ll turn on the TV and see the Red Cross is already there.

As you watch boxes of food, blankets and other life-saving items being distributed, have you ever wondered exactly how they got there so quickly?

This is the first in a series of podcasts exploring the role of our logistics emergency response unit and how it responds to international emergencies.



Guest Blog: Respecting the Geneva Conventions


The following post is from Ros Armitage,  operations manager at the British Red Cross:

Last week was the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. To a non-lawyer such as myself the Conventions and their Additional Protocols are “the rules of war” and form the cornerstone of international humanitarian law. They are incredibly important as they are designed to limit how war is conducted and the effects of war. They exist to limit suffering and to protect people not involved in a conflict such as civilians (including health workers and aid workers) and those no longer taking part in a conflict such as the sick and wounded, shipwrecked and prisoners of war. 194 countries have signed up to the Conventions signalling the significance in which they are held worldwide. The Conventions cover mainly international wars, or wars between countries but one of the Additional Protocols specifically covers wars within countries. More